Dear Seasoned Chicago Cyclists,
Please try to impart the patience and compassion you would have for a first time bike commuter. Having experienced the roll out in DC and already had one scooter fatality, there's definitely a concern about safety. Basically, scooter users will likely be pedestrians (not cyclists) turned scooter riders so they won't know the ins and outs like a seasoned cyclist. Think first time Divvy user. So yes, you'll see them on the sidewalks (even though they aren't supposed to), bike lanes, and streets. Lots of patience will be necessary. While scooters can be a good addition to the non-car commuter, they do pose risks to themselves (mostly) and other vulnerable users of the roads.
Here's an article with the details of the scooter roll-out:
Driving at the 85th percentile is prudent and safe, not careless. Driving at the under-posted speed limit when the vast majority of traffic is traveling faster than you is dangerous. I drive the area expressways during off-peak times frequently, and there's nobody driving at the speed 55 mph limit. The vast majority of traffic is safely moving at 65 to 70 mph.
The bicyclist was left with three fractured facial bones, a broken nose and four broken teeth, he said. He needed more than 20 stitches in his face.
WICKER PARK — A scooter rider on the wrong side of the road and “weaving in and out of traffic” crashed into a bicyclist in Wicker Park and then took off, leaving the cyclist unconscious and badly injured, police and the victim’s friends said.
Allyson Medeiros, the bicyclist, was hospitalized after the Thursday early evening crash. A tattoo artist without health insurance, Medeiros was left with fractured facial bones, four broken teeth, a broken nose and cuts that required more than 20 stitches, he wrote in posts on Instagram and GoFundMe.
There were concerns about air getting into his chest cavity as well.
The crash happened about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the 1200 block of North Leavitt Street. The 32-year-old victim was riding his bike when he saw a man “weaving in and out of traffic on an electric scooter,” said Officer Kelli Bartoli, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.
Scooters sure didn't mean anything good for this unfortunate cyclist:
Brainstorming, I understand the scooters have some sort of GPS... I'm wondering if the scooter company could help with a time and place look and see who the other party was. The challenge might be that there are several companies involved, so which one is which might be harder to pin down?
This morning while I rode to work, I approached a cross street. It had the green. Before I ever reached it, an e-scooter turned off the cross street. He could have made a complete turn. He had plenty of time. Instead, he makes a sharp turn on the e-scooter and comes toward me. Going the wrong way! In the street, between me and the car traffic. No bike lane on this street, either. It's a major street, too. Not a side street. I've seen people ride bikes going the wrong way many times on this street. But they were all traveling at a slow speed, and not a danger to anyone. They weren't zipping by at 15 mph!
These e-scooters are dangerous! How many tragedies will we have to read about before it ends? Nashville already had someone die due to a scooter accident.
Those with dark humor will say 'Let Darwin sort it out'. Well, the dinosaurs didn't take down the mammals when they died off. These scooters will injure or kill innocent bystanders, not just themselves.
For those who say "Give 'em a chance', wait 'til they buzz you.
As with all sorts of things including scooters, bikes, boats, cars, and such, the behavior of the user contributes mightily to the level of risk. On the road, going the wrong way is a major risk.
Yet people develop all sorts of rationalizations for doing it themselves, from it being ok for whatever type of vehicle they're on, or it's ok for themselves, or it's ok on this street, or with whatever level of density, or that other group is the bigger problem, etc.
As we see, once people head down this road (no pun) it reenforces the bad behaviors and even teaches new groups of users that the risky behaviors are ok (in the latest example, scooter users) although there's not much limit to the number of people or the variety of excuses for wrong way behavior regardless of the vehicle type, except for people getting back to a focus on safety.
The wrong way is the wrong way. Let's all do our part, and not contribute to this risky behavior.
Let's all just be thankful they're not on the Lake Front Trail.
Yes, the electric mopeds and bikes are scary enough. At least the few privately owned scooters I've seen on the lake are relatively slow.
Scooter riders won't follow the law, and they're very fast. That makes them dangerous. It's why e-scooters have a horrible safety record. Must our streets become Russian Roulette?
Rule of thumb: if a scooter passes a bicyclist, the scooter is going too fast.
George Carlin is smiling, somewhere.